Your Home is Your Escape

Second Home Escape

If you have some surplus of cash then I’d urge you to take advantage of some second home escape real estate opportunities at home and abroad. Now is the time to invest in real estate for investment and personal use. Everyone needs a place to stay whether it’s their personal residence or an Airbnb rental for their vacation. The north shore of the Dominican Republic is the ideal location.

We are learning right now how important our home is and what space means to us. Living in a nice environment with the possibility to enjoy outdoor living in not too crowded areas.

This newsletter will present a few fantastic properties located in an exceptional 250 acres residential oceanfront development with wonderful amenities such as an Equestrian Center, a Tennis Courts, and trails to walk, run or ride your bicycle.

Check out our incredible beautiful properties which all have a swimming pool by clicking this link: 

With gratitude,

Sabine A. Mertes

Call us at (809) 885-2260 or email

Second Home Escape - Sea Horse Ranch - Cabarete - Dominican Republic

Sea Horse Ranch – Oceanfront Residential Development – Cabarete, North Shore of the DR




Dominican Republic Update on COVID-19

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Customers!

Dominican Republic COVID-19 update – Interesting news and helpful for our island fans and followers.

We are still on a 13-hour mandatory curfew where we must be in our homes by 5 pm up to 6 am.

As of April 9th, there have been 2,349 confirmed cases and 118 confirmed deaths. A total of 80 citizens who contracted the virus have fully recovered.

Here is the latest report from the Ministry of Health

We have to be careful to whom we are listening because there is a lot of misinformation out there.

For the latest and best information on COVID-19, I recommend using official government and international agency websites and resources.

I’ve included some links to government and international agency websites below…

The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health is publishing daily updates regarding the number of cases in the country.

The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican RepublicNational Institutes of Health (NIH), along with sites also provide information with regard to travel advisories, disease prevention, and response.

Research and computer modeling suggest COVID-19 will be less able to survive in warm and humid conditions. A very good reason to look into real estate investments in the Dominican Republic.

The greatest investment I have ever seen? A Single-Family House! We have plenty to offer.

Beachfront villa between Sosua and Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Single Family Beachfront Villa

If you have any questions we are always there for you and you can contact us either via email at or via What’s App at 1-809-885-2260.

Be safe and stay in touch.

Sabine A. Mertes

Five reasons why to retire in the Dominican Republic

Five Surprising Reasons People Are Choosing To Retire in the Dominican Republic

Imagine you made a decision to fulfill a lifelong goal: to retire in the Caribbean.  

For you, that decision may mean spending the bulk of your year on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

As a condo owner, your concerns about maintenance are minimal and generally only a phone call away. Once a week you have a housekeeper that comes in and does a thorough cleaning. Most of your destinations throughout the day are within walking distance and for those that aren’t, they are a quick drive along the coast, just out of town.

Your days are filled with everything from yoga to art classes, early afternoon bingo at a local pub with friends to happy hour drinks on the beach. Your network of friends is robust and you realize that you feel a strong connection to where you now call home.

The decision to choose to retire in the Dominican Republic may seem obvious. However, beyond the obvious, there are many other residents here that will attest to the fact that there are a few surprising benefits about choosing, for example, the beach towns of Cabarete and Sosua, on the north coast as a retirement destination.

Sosua Contemporary House, Sosua, Dominican Republic

Just the Two of You! Two Bedroom Vacation House

Here are five reasons to consider the Dominican Republic as a retirement destination:

1. The relative affordability of purchasing a property and the cost of living

Compared to the rest of the Caribbean, property prices in the Dominican Republic are still relatively low. As stated in a recent article in the New York Times, luxury property prices in D.R. start at around $700 USD per square meter. Basic condos with considerable amenities are as low as $150,000 USD. Not only is this good news for would-be property owners looking to make the most of a fixed income, but it’s also a reflection of the investment potential for the years ahead.

2. The ease of owning a condo for both living and renting.

The Dominican Republic is a very popular vacation destination. Many condo owners choose to block out time each year to reside in their home and then trust respected property managers to handle lucrative rentals for them when they are not in the country.

3. Affordable and thorough health care is within a few minute’s reaches of most residential areas.

At the top of mind of many retirees is quality health care. This is more than understandable – and on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, it’s a pleasant reassurance. Private, effective health care is accessible in Puerto Plata, Sosua, and Cabarete.

In addition to medical care, there are chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors and massage therapy clinics. There are an active health provider community and numerous health fairs throughout the year where local residents can meet and learn about what’s available in the community for them to access and benefit from.

4. An extensive selection of groceries and fabulous restaurants.

Due to the cultural diversity on the north coast, there is a wide variety of grocery stores and restaurants. There is also an emphasis on healthy alternatives and many businesses that support a holistic, healthy lifestyle. The restaurant industry is a direct reflection of the cultural diversity in the community and many residents enjoy a rich dining experience.

5. An easygoing and welcoming community.

One can’t underestimate the power of relationships and connections. Time and again, what is most often spoken about on the north coast is the connection of the community, the strength of the bonds and the sense of belonging that is accessible to all who choose to settle in and connect. The population on the north coast is a reflection of the global village. Residents and short-term visitors alike are from all over the world. This global representation helps to create rich and diverse relationships and cultural connections.

To find out more about what a retirement property can look like for you in the Dominican Republic, contact us today.

Five of the best golf courses in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Golf – Five of the best golf courses on the island

Convenient to The U.S., Canada and much of Europe, the Dominican Republic resides at the northern edge of the Caribbean Sea on the lush, tropical island known since Columbus’ days as Hispaniola. Mountainous and verdant, the Dominican Republic has in recent years become a leading destination for tourists from many countries, and increasingly, one of its primary attractions is golf.

Oceanfront Golf Course

Teeth of the Dog Golf Course

Teeth of the Dog Golf Course

There are dozens of challenging golf courses in the Dominican Republic, concentrated primarily in the south and east of the country, though a couple of gems are to be found along the north coast as well. Picking the five of the best golf courses is a difficult task, for at least a dozen tracks may be considered “world-class” while many others are just a few years away from that designation.

Casa de Campo and the Teeth of the Dog

One must begin one’s search in the south at the Casa de Campo resort less than an hour east of Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport. This sprawling, luxurious resort complex includes several courses, each beautifully maintained and each subtly different. In addition, several nearby courses offer the visitor a truly wide range of choices.

Within the Casa de Campo resort, we find what is certainly the best-known golf course in the Dominican Republic if not in the entire Caribbean region. Teeth of the Dog, (Dientes del Perro), a Pete Dye classic, got its name because of the jagged ocean-front coral formations along which it was built. The course has been described as “labyrinthine”, a reference to its twisting, up-and-down nature.  A challenge to all levels of golfers, Teeth of the Dog consistently ranks in the top half of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100” golf courses in the world.


Dye Four Golf Course in Casa de Campo

Dye Four Golf Course in Casa de Campo

Cap Cana and Punta Cana

Moving east from Casa de Campo, the traveler will discover the Cap Cana/Punta Cana area which sprawls along 50 miles of sugar-white sand beaches. Here, concentrated amongst the dozens of resort hotels, are some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Punta Espada, a jewel of a Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course, is the first of three courses planned in the new Cap Cana resort. Perfectly manicured, Punta Espada has 15 of its 18 holes overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Challenging and serene, this track leads the golfer through a jungle, and along beaches and coralline cliffs.

Not far away, the Pete Dye-designed La Cana course winds through the hilly coastal lands within the Punta Cana Resort and Club. Having four holes along the Caribbean Sea, this 7152-yard championship course features dozens of the signature Pete Dye pot bunkers, including more than 20 of them on the 7th hole alone! The golfer will find himself challenged here, though the breathtaking beauty of the area will stay in his mind long after memories of those diabolical sand traps have faded.

The Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay, located in the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, is a fabulous Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course that has been the site of past DR Open championships. This is a very challenging, beautifully manicured track that will demand everything from golfers of all levels. The level of service here is exceptional from the lovely clubhouse and terrace restaurant to the ice-cold towel presented at the end of your round.

The North Coast and Playa Grande

Last in our group of top five courses in the Dominican Republic, (though by no means least) is the breath-taking Playa Grande course between Rio San Juan and Cabrera on the Dominican Republic’s north shore. This was the last course designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. A masterpiece by any measure, the course winds along high cliffs with views to rival any in the golfing world. Currently, under renovation, this championship-level course will soon re-open and will take its place among the world’s most beautiful.

Many more lovely golf courses dot the Dominican Republic, and quite a few should arguably have made this list. The writer is a 20-year resident of the country and these are my favorites, however, many will happily disagree. Such is the variety and quality to be found here in the beautiful Dominican Republic.

So now you have an idea of the golf treasures to be found in the Dominican Republic, a jewel of the Caribbean. Whether you choose to rent, rent-to-own or purchase outright, Select Caribbean Properties will happily provide you with excellent choices in condominiums, villas or large tracts of farmland ideal for those desiring countries living.  Select Caribbean Properties has representatives throughout the Dominican Republic, all multi-lingual and well-versed in the process of purchase here.

Contact Sabine Mertes at 809-885-2260 or check out her website and she will help you find “the dream”.

A Special Golf Adventure

Special Golf Adventure – The Dominican Republic is a Unique Golf Destination!

Golf Course at Punta Espada Resort

Punta Espada Golf Course

The Dominican Republic is well-known around the world as a top-shelf golf destination.  Visitors come from Europe, North America and Asia to partake of the wide selection of new as well as established world-class championship courses designed by the great architects: Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Trent Jones. Names like Teeth of the Dog, Playa Grande and Punta Espada ring like music in the ears of golfers everywhere. Indeed, the Dominican Republic is a visiting golfer’s paradise.


Golf Course at Playa Dorada

But imagine the opportunities available to the resident homeowner living amongst this bounty! For four friends from Cabarete, that bounty presented itself recently when they decided to take a long weekend away from the north coast. They played a few of the great courses near La Romana in the south and Punta Cana/Cap Cana in the east.

The four were members of Fedo Golf, the Dominican national golfers association.  Membership is $100 per year and entitles members to many free and discounted rounds at some of the great golf courses of the country. In addition, these friends joined the Teeth of the Dog Association (TOD) for $50 per year. This entitles members to discounted play at the great Casa de Campo courses (Dye Fore, The Links, and Teeth of the Dog). In addition, the TOD sponsors frequent tournaments, and it is one of these tournaments that the four friends, Tom, Dave, Ken, and Eric, decided to enter.

The entry fee of $295 entitled each player to around each at Corrales in Punta Cana, Punta Espada in Cap Cana and Teeth of the Dog in the sprawling south coast resort complex known as Casa de Campo”. The entry fee includes a golf cart. Because the players were TOD members, they were able to play an additional fun rounds at Teeth of the Dog and the famous Dye Fore. They found a charming Italian Inn in La Estancia, 10 km east of La Romana and each took a room, with nice breakfast included, for $50 per night.

The tournament organizers were very nice and accommodating, allowing the four friends to play as a foursome, despite differing handicaps that would in most places cause them to be split apart. The courses were nothing short of sensational with breezy sunshine and nary a drop of rain. Scores were mixed, and in the end, didn’t matter much. The four played poker in the evenings or drove a few km to Bayahibe, a coastal village, to dine on fresh fish and prime Argentine beef. They even found a Canadian bar with a TV tuned to the NHL playoffs.

The four friends drove from the north coast to the south coast in under 5 hours using the rapidly-expanding network of fine toll roads that are quickly linking most major areas of the country to each other with safe, well-maintained highways. Being the off-season, costs everywhere were a fraction of what they would be in North America or Europe. They played 5 rounds of world-class golf, spent 4 nights in a charming Italian hotel/restaurant, ate dinner at a range of wonderful restaurants…and when they got home, they realized they had each spent less than $800!

Playa Grande Golf

Playa Grande Golf Course


Hurricane Protected Towns On The North Coast

Hurricane Protected North Coast of the Dominican Republic

From before World War 2 to the mid-1980s, the US Navy maintained a small weather station near Puerto Plata. In more than 50 years of operation, this station never recorded sustained winds in excess of 64 knots (hurricane strength) for more than 1 hour. This remarkable fact is due to both the topography of the island of Hispaniola and the counter-clockwise rotation of tropical storms in the northern hemisphere. The result is that the area from Las Terrenas and Cabrera, west to Cabarete, Sosua, Puerto Plata, and Luperon, are shielded from the most severe effects of tropical cyclones that often damage other areas.

In 2017, both Irma and Maria, major category 5 hurricanes, approached the Dominican Republic from the east after causing severe damage to the northern Windward Islands and Puerto Rico. Both storms passed well north of the north coast of the Dominican Republic, though Irma curved back south after passing Hispaniola and caused much damage in Cuba.  Maria passed closest, with the center about 80 miles north of Sosua. Winds reached tropical storm force for several hours, but on the north coast, there was little damage done. Road crews were out the day before both storms, clearing branches from overhead power lines, and when Maria passed, power outages were hours long instead of days, weeks or months as in other severely affected areas such as Puerto Rico.

We on the hurricane protected north coast are very fortunate. Imagine a storm approaching from the east. It is rotating counter-clockwise. If the center passes over the island, there may be damage at the east end of the country, but as it passes inland, the high mountains of the central range immediately weaken the storm, minimizing effects on the north coast. If, on the other hand, the storm center passes north of the island, as often happens, a brief period of north winds is followed by westerlies which may reach tropical storm force, though for a very short time. Those who experienced the passage of Maria from the north coast will tell you that the effects were short-lived and relatively moderate.

It is no mistake that Luperon Harbor is the only port north of Grenada in the “Caribbean Basin” where many marine insurance companies allow insured vessels to remain during the June-November hurricane season. Though the passage of a tropical cyclone is never a reason for complacency, for those living on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, it is rarely caused for concern beyond normal intelligent preparation.

This beautiful stretch of coastline represents what may be the safest place to be when hurricanes prowl the Caribbean and the southwest North Atlantic.

Hurricane Protected North Coast, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Map

Travel like a local in the Dominican Republic

Travel the Dominican Republic and discover this amazing island.

This is a very good article and a wonderful way to discover the beauty of the Dominican Republic.

Enjoy this wonderful island, the beaches, the food, the people, the great natural resources like waterfalls, like and rivers.

Book a different vacation the next time when you are visiting the Dominican Republic. We are more than happy to assist you.

Come to the north coast where you find small Boutique Hotels, wonderful Bed & Breakfast, and Eco Adventure lodges.

Travel & Discover the Dominican Repbulic

Lonesome beaches on the north coast

Vacation time on the north coast of the Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata

A popular choice amongst newly married couples and families is a week or two at an all-inclusive resort in any of a dozen locations country-wide. These range from economical and comfortable to ultra high-end luxury resorts with a known track record of excellence. Many of these resorts offer a long list of sporting and cultural activities as well as fine dining opportunities.

Smaller Resorts – economical and friendly

A couple wishing privacy and not requiring too varied an activities list might consider one of the smaller hotels in places like Cabarete, Sosua, Rio San Juan, El Breton, Cabrera, Las Terrenas or Las Galeras.

Here, the guest is happily at peace in a more intimate surrounding while having access to a charming smaller resort community. In Cabarete, one may wander the beach and choose from a wide range of restaurants and night spots and then return to their lodging on foot in the moonlight. Perhaps a glass of champagne will then be enjoyed, seated in a chaise lounge beneath the palms.

Hotel Villa Taina in Cabarete

Hotel Villa Taina in Cabarete

Larger all-inclusive resorts – activities for all

For those requiring a more structured experience, the larger all-inclusive hotels in Playa Dorada offer a rich and varied experience to their guests. Most feature numerous restaurants with interesting ethnic cuisine and decor. Activities of every imaginable type are available to guests at the larger all-inclusive resorts, from sailing and windsurfing to horseback rides in the mountains to pig roasts on the beach. Golf, tennis, hiking, white-water rafting, canyoning, and zip-lining…all may be enjoyed with just a phone call to the concierge.


Golf Course, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata

A private villa or condo rental – the height of luxury and indulgence

And for those wishing the pure peace of their own luxury villa, a wonderful choice of lovely beachfront villa, mountain villas, and beachfront condos await not only the honeymooner’s pleasure. In a fully-staffed luxury villa, the guests will be pampered as never before in their lives.

One might indulge in a massage overlooking the breaking reef, or choose an hour’s swimming in a private cove unseen reached by a coral stone pathway. Meals are served at the pleasure of the guest and can range from simple fare to sumptuous presentations including native lobster and fish. And in the background, there to answer every whim, a staff of men and women whose goal is your pleasure.

Beach front villa in Sea Horse Ranch

The offerings are many and varied. Prices range from economical to expensive, but in all levels, the potential guest will find great value in the Dominican Republic when compared to other Caribbean countries.

It is easy to get here. It is lovely to stay here. You will leave with some sadness but will take with you the memory of a lifetime – your beautiful Dominican Republic Honeymoon!

The Benefits and Challenges of Living on an Island

The benefits and challenges of living on an island

Living on an island in the sunny Caribbean sounds like a dream that’s too good to be true, but for many, it can become a reality. In fact, according to Islands Magazine’s most recent Best Islands to Live On the report, 80% of expats have thought about moving to an island someday, and 75% have even considered purchasing an island home.
No matter where you choose to live, every city, town or village comes with its flaws, and
unfortunately, this is all too true with island living too. There are many aspects of living on an island you may not have considered, so to help you ensure you’re making the right decision, here are a few pros and cons to island life.

Cabarete Beachfront Property, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Living on an island



1. A slower pace of life

Many people opt for islands because they’re seeking a slower pace of life, and that’s exactly what you’ll find if you move to an island. You don’t have to be retired to be yearning to slow things down either!
It’s all too common for people to be swept up in the rush of everyday life, and it can be hard to find breathing space when you’re surrounded by a community that only knows one swift pace. This is why moving to an island, where the community often takes a slower approach to life is as enjoyable as it is refreshing.

2. Glorious weather

If you’re moving to somewhere like the Caribbean, where the climate is as tropical as it is glorious, you’re sure to experience great weather all year round – perfect for those who detest the cold. Warm, sunny weather often encourages people to go outdoors and can promote a healthier, happier lifestyle. So if you tend to live your life very much outdoors, or if you’d like to, there’s a good chance you’ll love living on an island.

3. A strong community

It’s only logical for small islands to house small populations, which is exactly what makes their communities so strong. Many island dwellers choose the island life for similar reasons – whether it’s to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life or it’s in search of new opportunities, like starting a business.

This mutual choice of lifestyle and love for the island tends to bring communities together. Coupled with the fact that you’ll literally never be far away from a new friend or neighbor, it’s safe to say you can never truly feel alone when you’re crossing paths with a familiar face every day.

4. Location, Location, Location

Being surrounded by the sea or ocean can really come with its benefits. From water-sports and activities to beach walks and boat trips, there are plenty of things to enjoy when you have your own slice of paradise.

When you picture the Caribbean, many people initially think of places like the Bahamas, the Turks, and Caicos amongst other tourist hotspots. However, the region is much larger than people may initially think. So, whether you’re seeking a quaint coastal haven or a bustling beach town, the Caribbean is as diverse as it is dreamy.

Beach House Cabarete, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Cabarete Beach



1. Limited access to medical care

While there are many islands with high-quality medical facilities, like the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Cuba, there are also many islands where the quality of healthcare is low and access to medical services is insufficient. Don’t be surprised if the island you’re living on has only one hospital or clinic because this is very common when you’re living on a small, underdeveloped island.

Private facilities can be harder to find, and even though they offer a higher standard of healthcare services, they may still lack some of the medical equipment you’ll find on mainlands and in larger countries. For instance, in Jamaica, the standards of both private and public medical facilities can vary and some may not be up to the standards that you’d expect.

In this instance, you may have to travel overseas to have access to high quality, private medical facilities. If you do need to travel overseas for a medical emergency, for example, it can be a wise choice to take out an appropriate international health insurance policy so that you can access high-quality medical facilities as and when you need to.

2. Lack of amenities

They say it’s the simple things in life that make you happy, but the word ‘simple’ can mean different things to different people. Not having access to simple amenities and basic goods and services can be frustrating and depending on how remote the island is, you’re likely to experience this. Fortunately, the Dominican Republic is big enough and we find everything.

You’ll rarely find a large ‘has-it-all’ supermarket on a smaller island. Instead, you’ll have to buy groceries and the like from local stores, markets, and street vendors. Online shopping isn’t always an option either if you’re living on a small, secluded island. Depending on how remote the island is, it can be a struggle to find an online retailer that will actually deliver, and even if a retailer is able to deliver, packages often get caught in customs, meaning that the process could take around three or four weeks to arrive.

3. Everybody knows everybody

While ‘a strong community’ is listed as a benefit, it can also be a con. Living on an island is the equivalent of living in a small town or village – everybody knows everybody. While this can be a good thing, it can also be frustrating. The expression ‘news travels fast’ is a very accurate description of island social life. You may find it difficult to keep personal things private and you’ll quickly get to know the residents who you’ll continue to bump into, every day, at the same time.

4. Weather

While some areas of the planet are exposed to a greater risk of natural disasters than others, when a tsunami or hurricane hits an island, the results can be devastating. Before a natural disaster, a weather warning is usually signaled and the inhabitants of the island are evacuated to safer ground, but sometimes disaster can strike suddenly.

Whether it’s a flash flood or a bad storm, it’s always a good idea to stock up on food and supplies in case you are trapped on the island for a period of time.

While the prospect of living on an island can be exciting, you’ll need to think seriously about your decision before you make the move. Island life can have its downsides, but hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons and if you do choose the make the move, you’re sure to adore the slower pace of life, the strong community and the glorious weather that comes with it.

The Rio San Juan Area

playa grande !! 003

Rio San Juan, a large seaside town of over 15,000 inhabitants, lies about halfway between the Dominican Republic’s western border and its eastern end at Punta Cana. The town and its immediate area are rich in attractions and support several hotels from quite large to very small, however, tourism is not the only source of income for the area’s population. Cattle and dairy farms dot the hillsides south of town, and a substantial fleet of fishing boats operates from the protected coves just west of town. There is even a small but active boat-building presence.

Near the town are some of the most beautiful places in all the Dominican Republic. Playa Grande, a beach once hailed by National Geographic as one of the 10 most beautiful in the world, stretches along several kilometers of shoreline just east of Rio San Juan. Featured here is world-class surfing, wonderful swimming, and a number of beach-side kiosks that will serve fish, caught locally, on a table set beneath the palms and sea grape just a few meters from the surf. In town, the Gri Gri Lagoon offers a small but protected anchorage for a small fleet of boats that offer tours of the mangroves and the handful of pocket beaches that dot the rugged, rocky shoreline. Guests can opt for snorkeling in several locations or may picnic ashore in solitude on one of the tiny, intimate beaches mentioned above. playa grande !! 038 The crown jewel of the Rio San Juan area would have to be the Playa Grande Golf Course. This magnificent 18-hole masterpiece was the last track designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The course opened to rave reviews in 1997 and has been compared to Pebble Beach. 10 of its 18 holes play along 20-meter-high cliffs overlooking the dazzling corals of the near-shore shallows all the way to a hazy horizon where the dark blue of deep water is often broken by the breaching of humpback whales.

At present, Rio San Juan and the Playa Grande area are enjoying a surge of development. Hotel and villa construction in the area of Playa Grande and the Playa Grande Golf Course is proceeding full speed while just west of town, a large, well- known beachfront hotel complex is undergoing extensive renovation. This is an area rich in amenities, poised to develop quickly and well.